Greenlight search analysis identifies the brands racing ahead in car hire

Analysis of online search trends in the UK online car hire sector by Greenlight has found a greater bias towards generic and domestic terms when users are on mobile.

Search agency Greenlight has just started including mobile traffic insights in its regular sector reports in the travel industry.

Overall the spread of sub-sector terms on desktop between long-haul, short-haul, domestic and generic is much more balanced than on mobile where long-haul and short-haul are under-indexed.

The Greenlight report found rentalcars.com was the most visible brand on mobile in the sector with 94% share of voice while travelsupermarket.com was the most visible on PCs with 74%.

The analysis found there was just under one million searches for car hire in May at 964,878, the vast majority of these on desktop, at 838,873.

Searches for car hire in short-haul destinations was the most popular on PCs accounting for 35% of the total.

The long-term trend for the sector shows although still low in terms of absolute volume car hire searches showed a pretty flat profile during the previous 12 months.

However, on desktop devices there was a marked decline from July 2012 to November followed by a shallower recovery to March 2013 after which growth tailed off.

On desktop the top two most visible websites in natural search, travelsupermaket.com and avis.co.uk, ranked on Google for 2,076 and 1,704 terms respectively.

The latter achieved prominence with search terms for specific destinations like Alicante and Las Vegas.

The same two were the most visible in natural search on mobile which saw 18,100 searches using the keywords ‘car hire’ in May.

In paid media rentalcars.com was the most visible site on mobile in May with 92% of share of voice through bidding on 2,449 keywords at an average position of two.

In second was arguscarhire.com with an 82% share of voice through bidding on 2,368 keywords at an average position of five.

When both types of search was integrated travelsupermarket.com came out on top for desktop searches and avis.com on mobile.

Greenlight’s social media monitoring saw economycarhire.com ranked first with a Klout score of 53 ahead of avis.co.uk, travelsupermarket.com, europcar.com and hertz.co.uk.

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